Android is king, long live Android

The ‘Greek Geek' highlights some of the stories from the worlds of tech that caught his attention.

This year China will more than double the robots used in manufacturing from 300 000 to 600 000 units.

Android continues its dominance in the smartphone industry according to the latest numbers released by Strategy Analytics. The latest research from the Q3 2016 shows phone shipments of 375 million devices with Android grabbing 87.5% of the market. The growth can be attributed to low-cost Android devices primarily in emerging markets. In comparison, Apple holds 12.1% of that market. Android grew 10.3% year on year, while Apple showed a 5.2% decline. The smartphone market grew by six percent, showing a slowdown from the double-digit growth over the last decade.

A virtual voice
Imagine a ‘Photoshop for audio’. That’s what Adobe is trying to do with Project Voco, a product it announced at its recent Max conference in San Diego. The new product basically learns how you speak and all it needs initially are about 20 minutes of your voice. Once it has that, you literally can type in a phrase, and voila you will be able to hear it in your own voice. Concerns of fraud have been raised especially when you consider how voice verification is growing. Adobe is addressing these concerns and is including audio watermark technology embedded into the software.

Aki Anastasiou Aki Anastasiou
Air travel on the up
New forecasts from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show a substantial increase in air travel for the next two decades. IATA predicts that by 2035, 7.2 billion passengers will travel by air globally – almost double the 3.8 billion travellers in 2016. The Asia Pacific region will see the biggest growth over this period and China is expected to surpass the United States as the largest aviation market by 2025. Africa markets will experience the fastest growth, especially in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Central African Republic, Benin, Mali, Rwanda, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Madagascar. An annual average growth of eight percent is forecast for these countries in the next 20 years. Africa will add an extra 135 million passengers by 2035 for a total of 303 million passengers.

Tablets and tots
With technology being so ubiquitous, parents of infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers face massive challenges, especially with the rise of interactive media. How much time should you allow your kids with technology? The American Academy of Pediatrics has released some interesting guidelines for parents to help balance the usage of these technologies. This has been driven primarily by the influence of media on the health and development of children up to the age of five, a time of critical brain development, building secure relationships, and establishing healthy behaviours.
•    Parents of children younger than 18 months should discourage the use of screen media other than video chatting.
•    Parents of children ages 18 to 24 months should introduce digital media and apps that offer a high level of learning and should be used together with a parent.
•    Children that are older than two should have their media limits set to no longer than an hour per day
The guidelines also recommend that no screens should be made available during meal times and for an hour before bedtime.

Mobile overtakes desktop
We passed a very interesting watershed moment in technology during October. The web analytics company StatCounter announced that internet usage on mobile and tablet devices surpassed that of desktop globally for the first time ever.  Mobile usage accounted for 51.3% of internet usage versus 48.7% on desktop.

Let’s automate that
The United Nations recently released a report on the impact that robots and industrialisation will have on developing countries. In the last three years, China, South Korea, Japan, Germany and the United States have led this massive transformation of manufacturing with huge investments in robots. This year alone China will more than double the robots used in manufacturing from 300 000 to 600 000 units. Japan, Korea, Germany and the US will each have around 300 000 robots in manufacturing by the end of 2018. These are the massive challenges that developing regions like Latin America and Africa face. These robots are going to affect low-skilled workers involved in manufacturing and the United Nations report suggests that could affect up to two thirds of low-skilled jobs. The question we need to be asking is why are we not investing more aggressively in automation. In contrast Africa and Latin America combined will only have less than 50 000 robots by the end of 2018.

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